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Firefighters say its mayor Johnson versus Londoners

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has vowed to mobilise every firefighter at every fire station to defend London’s fire service.

Report by Paul Feldman

Union leaders made the call after fire authority politicians decided to comply (February 26) with an order from mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for public consultation to begin on proposals to close 12 fire stations, remove 18 engines and slash 520 frontline firefighter posts.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, and the union has called for the widest possible campaign to fight the cuts.

Regional secretary Paul Embery said:

“The starting gun has been fired, and we want Londoners to join with us in defending their fire service. These cuts are reckless and wrong.

“They would mean nearly five million Londoners across twenty boroughs waiting longer for a fire engine, and that will place people in serious danger.

“We need the broadest based campaign which unites all sections of the community in opposition to the mayor. Nobody wants these cuts: not the fire authority, the GLA, the workforce or the community. Even some Conservative councils have come out against the cuts. It’s Boris Johnson versus the rest of London.

“These cuts represent the biggest threat to the ability of the London Fire Brigade to function since the days of the Blitz. It is incumbent on all of us to do what we can to fight them.”

Firefighters London demo
Regional FBU secretary Paul Embery addressing firefighters at an earlier lobby
26 February 2013

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